Best Intex Pool Models
Intex Pools have established a firm hold on the above-ground swimming pool market. They have done this by providing quality swimming pools at an affordable cost. The best Intex Pool as of 2019 is called the Ultra-Frame. With a complete 18×52 package shipped to your door for under $1000.00, you can see why Intex Pools are here to stay. It was the new and improved Intex Ultra-Frame pool that forced me to Included them in my Top-10 Best Above-Ground Pools Reviews.
Perhaps the Ultra-Frame Set is not the best Intex pool for you. You may prefer one of their blow-up swimming pools or a more shallow above ground pool. In the rest of this article, I will compare Intex Pools to traditional above-ground pools, discuss safety concerns, compare features, and tell you where you can buy a quality and affordable Intex pool for the least amount of money. 🙂
Best Intex Pool Vs. Traditional Permanent Above-Ground Swimming Pools
It would not be fair to compare Intex Pools to higher-end premium above-ground pools. But, it might surprise you to see how well the Intex Ultra-Frame pools stack up against most of the low-end steel wall pools that make up a more significant part of the entire above-ground pool market.
In the table below I compare an Intex Ultra-Frame pool to a traditional low-cost steel wall above-ground pool package you are likely to find at Leslie’s or your local pool dealer.
|Intex 18R||Steel 18R||Intex 16×32||Steel 15×30|
|Package Cost w/ Shipping||$699.99||$1769.00||$1499.99||$2987.00|
|Installation Cost w/Setup||$0.00||$800.00||$0.00||$1800.00|
|DIY Difficulty Scale 1-10||2||10||4||10|
|Add Salt system||$100.00||$450.00||$100.00||$450.00|
Package Cost W/ Shipping
These are the actual prices of what these pool packages cost. See my Packages and Pricing Here.
The traditional steel pools have slightly larger sand filters which will filter the water better, and an A-Frame ladder with more full treads and a lockable security feature to disable access to the pool.
The Intex Pool has a thicker more durable pool liner.
Installation Cost and Set Up
The prices for the steel wall pools may be a little low; I charge more than I listed the prices here in the data table.
I believe anyone who is at all handy can install an Intex Swimming Pool.
DIY Difficulty Scale 1-10
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Scale of Difficulty is a measure of how handy you have to be to put together these models. Ten is very handy, and 1 being the likelihood of you running a screwdriver through the pool wall, oops.
As I said, I install Pools for a living, so I know what it takes. I also sell pools all across the country; handy homeowners can do it. If you think you have what it takes to install a steel wall pool subtract the cost.
On the other hand, if you think you are likely to ruin the Intex pool because your handyman-ness is minus five (-5) add $400-$600 to the total cost.
All steel wall pools have to have the sod removed; I charge $180.00 to do this and to level a yard that is within 6 inches of grade. If you do not have a level area to install your Intex Pool, you should add this cost.
All permanent above-ground pools have to get bonded. Bonding means running a number 8 copper wire all the way around the swimming pool hitting the pool frame in four places, and also connecting the bonding wire to the pump, and the pool water via a bonding plate.
Softside temporary pools have no such requirement, but it would be a good idea! Bonding is for safety.
Then there is the cost of running a dedicated GFI electrical service for the pool pump which is required only for permanent steel wall swimming pools. In this section, I just added the cost of bonding $350.00 the steel pool, not the fee for running a dedicated electrical service.
Soft-sided Intex Pools are considered non-permanent and as such are not required to pull a permit, whereas permanent swimming pools do need a building permit.
First let me be clear and say I would never put a chlorine generator, aka salt system on a steel above-ground pool. Salt is corrosive to steel. The only pool I would ever put a salt system on is an Intex.
With a Chlorine generator/Salt system, you won’t have to buy half the chlorine you would for a steel wall pool.
I do not believe either of these swimming pools will see the sixth year of use, but if you put a salt system on the steel wall pool, you may not see the third or fourth season.
Conclusion: Best Intex Pool Vs. Steel Wall Comparison
You can spend $800.00 and get five years of fun and entertainment with the privilege of going swimming in your backyard anytime you want, and have the super reduced expense of chlorine for five years, or you can spend $3149.00 (price without the salt system) and end up with a 400lb paperweight that most people would charge you $350.00 to remove. (only suitable for big paper) 😉
Let me just say that I am not against steel wall swimming pools, just the ones made of crappy metal and then packaged with a thin, weak pool liner
Intex Pools Safety Concerns
Because Intex Pools are still classed with little splasher and blow up pools, they are not required to meet safety codes and regulations. Surely the bigger 16×32 rectangle, 18, 21, 24 round Intex Ultra-frame above-ground pools should have to achieve the same safety standards as other above-ground swimming pools, but that is not what the law says.
Intex Pool Safety Concern #1 – Barrier To Entry
Building code states that all permanent pools have to meet a 48-inch barrier to entry and provide a way to prevent children from using the ladder when responsible adult is not present
The new 52-inch Intex Ultra-Frame pools meet the wall height code but what about all the 36-inch “Easy-Set” Pools that do not? There are 100s of thousands of Intex pools ranging from 6-inches to three feet in depth that pose a risk to many neighborhood children.
Even those spalsher pools that are fenced in pose a risk to toddlers living in the home. Leave the back slider open once, and there is a potential risk of drowning. Just once!
Then all those Intex A-frame ladders provide easy access to even greater depths.
Intex Pool Safety Concern #2 – Meeting Electrical Code
Electricity and water do not mix! However, currently, there is no law preventing you from running an extension cord out to run your Intex pool pump. As previously mentioned permanent above-ground pools are required to have a dedicated electrical service with a GFI Breaker and Outlet.
Another electrical safety issue is Bonding. Bonding is a “kind of” grounding system. A copper bonding wire is run and touches every part of the swimming pool system. The bonding wire makes it so that everything has the same electrical potential; The dirt the pool sits on, the pool pump, the pool water, the pool frame are all connected to a wire that hooks to a grounding rod.
Intex Pool Reviews | Best Intex Pool Packages
I need to write a few things here to help you and keep this review on point. These Intex Ultra-Frame pools and systems are only good for 3-5 years. Do not drop a thousand bucks expecting any more than that.
Also, the sand filter systems that come with the units are too small, and I recommend buying a 100 square foot cartridge filter and add it to the whole system. Do not throw away the sand system, add the cartridge filter on to the sand filter. Instead of running the return hose from the sand filter to the pool, run it to the inlet side of the new cartridge filter and run the outlet side of the cartridge filter to the pool.
You will have two filters for even better water clarity. Buy the cartridge filter here Click Link
The filter system is my only disappointment with the Intex swimming pools. If you upgrade it the way I explained, you will love your new pool all the more.
Intex Pools For Sale
I told you I would help you buy the best Intex Pool, and I said I would help you get the best price. Let me just tell you, just in case you didn’t know, the Chinese keep knocking off all our products and shipping over counterfeit goods. Well, these Intex Pools are manufactured by the Chinese, so it is even easier to knock them off because they are supposed to be coming in from overseas.
Even Walmart was advertising Intex and selling Bestway Pools. FYI, Bestway is garbage!
Then there are the different models and years. You don’t want a 2016 ultra-frame pool; they improved the design in 2017. So follow my links to compare prices on these trusted websites.
Intex Pool FAQ
No! If your temps drop below freezing you must drain and take down your pool every year.
Yes! All pool water needs to be balanced and have a sanitizer like chlorine present to protect bathers.
Yes! The heater will likely cost more than the pool but you can add a heater to any pool. You can add a pool heater to new and existing Intex pools.
Yes! Unless you have an Intex pool and temperatures drop below freezing.